Although leadership skills and styles will vary between each person who is in a supervisory role it is clear that there are certain principles of management that remain constant, and that is something that Henri Fayol, a mining executive, had a definite theory on.

His general theory of how to approach the task of business administration in the most efficient way possible became known as Fayolism and the fundamental principles he defined as being essential have since been followed extensively as a blueprint for success.

Here is a brief overview of those fundamental principles.

Division of work

This involves analyzing the workforce and allocating tasks according to their skills and strengths so that efficiency and productivity improve.

Authority and responsibility

This involves the principle that authority and responsibility are fundamentally linked and when someone has the power of authority they also need to take full responsibility for their actions and decisions.


This is all about obedience and creating a working environment that actively encourages good conduct and respect for other colleagues in order to ensure that the organization thrives on collaboration.

Unity of command

This is about establishing a clear chain of command so that every employee knows exactly who they are answerable to.

Unity of direction

Everyone in the business needs to be pulling in the same direction and if there is a clear plan of action that can be followed by everyone it will create focus and unity.

Subordination of individual interest

Fayol believed that it is personal interests should be viewed as subordinate to the interests of the organization.


In order to achieve a good level of productivity, every person has to be motivated and one of the best ways of achieving that aim is to find the right level of financial compensation.

The degree of centralization

The division of management and decision-making needs to be properly balanced according to the size and volume of each organization and the layers of management need to have a fair share of decision-making abilities and autonomy.

The scalar chain

This is about establishing a clear line of authority that allows dialogue but doesn’t challenge that chain of command.


As well as achieving a good level of social order it is essential that the workplace is always a clean, tidy, and safe environment.


Treating employees with fairness and impartiality should be one of the core values of the organization.

Stability of tenure of personnel

This is about putting the right measures in place to try and keep employee turnover to a minimum.


Fayol firmly believed that employees should be encouraged to feel as involved and interested in their work and the company as possible as this often adds value.

Esprit de corps

This term describes how important it is to create an atmosphere and culture based on mutual trust and understanding.

If you can incorporate these 14 principles of management it is widely believed that this will prove beneficial to the business.

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